Create custom actions to deploy with SharePoint Add-ins

When you are creating a SharePoint Add-in, custom actions let you interact with the lists and the ribbon in the host web. A custom action deploys to the host web when end users install your add-in. Custom actions can open a remote webpage and pass information through the query string.

Two types of custom actions are available for add-ins: Ribbon and Menu Item.

Prerequisites for using the examples in this article

You need a development environment as explained in Get started creating provider-hosted SharePoint Add-ins.

Core concepts to help you understand custom actions

The following table lists useful articles that can help you understand the concepts and steps that are involved in a custom action scenario.

Table 1. Core concepts for custom actions

Article Description
SharePoint Add-ins Learn about the new add-in model in SharePoint that enables you to create add-ins, which are small, easy-to-use solutions for end users.
UX design for SharePoint Add-ins Learn about the user experience (UX) options that you have when you are building SharePoint Add-ins.
Host webs, add-in webs, and SharePoint components in SharePoint Learn about the difference between host webs and add-in webs. Find out which SharePoint components can be included in a SharePoint Add-in, which components are deployed to the host web, which components are deployed to the add-in web, and how the add-in web is deployed in an isolated domain.

Code example: Create a custom action in the host web document libraries

Following are the steps to create a custom action in the host web document libraries:

  1. Create the SharePoint Add-in and remote web projects.

  2. Add an add-in webpage for the custom actions.

  3. Add a Menu Item custom action to the SharePoint Add-in project.

  4. Add a Ribbon custom action to the SharePoint Add-in project.

  5. Set the add-in start page to the host web home page.

  6. Build and run the solution.

To create the SharePoint Add-in and remote web projects

  1. Open Visual Studio as administrator. (To do this, right-click the Visual Studio icon on the Start menu, and select Run as administrator.)

  2. Create the provider-hosted SharePoint Add-in as explained in Get started creating provider-hosted SharePoint Add-ins, and name it CustomActionsApp.

To add an add-in webpage for the custom actions

  1. After the Visual Studio solution has been created, right-click the web application project (not the SharePoint Add-in project) and add a new Web Form by selecting Add > New Item > Web > Web Form. Name the form CustomActionTarget.aspx.

  2. In the CustomActionTarget.aspx file, replace the entire html element and its children with the following HTML code. Leave all the markup above the html element as it is. The HTML code contains JavaScript that performs the following tasks:

    • Provides a placeholder for the query string parameters.

    • Extracts the parameters from the query string.

    • Renders the parameters in the placeholder.

      Important

      The ItemURL and ItemID tokens only get passed when there is an item selected. In a production quality SharePoint Add-in, your code needs to handle situations where no item is selected. In this example, the code alerts the user that no item has been selected.

      <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
      <head>
        <title>Custom action target</title>
      </head>
      <body>
        <h2>Query string parameters passed by the custom action:</h2>
      
        <!-- Placeholder for query string parameters -->
        <ul id="qsparams"/>
      
        <!-- Main JavaScript function, renders
            the query string parameters -->
        <script lang="javascript">
            var params = document.URL.split("?")[1].split("&amp;");
            var paramsHTML = "";
      
            // Extracts the parameters from the query string.
            // Parameters are URLencoded, decode for rendering
            // in page.
            for (var i = 0; i < params.length; i = i + 1) {
                params[i] = decodeURIComponent(params[i]);
                paramsHTML += "<li>" + params[i] + "</li>";
            }
      
            // Alert the user when no item has been selected.
            // (The SPListItemId is the 5th parameter.)
            if (params[5] === undefined) {
                paramsHTML += "<div> <h3> No item has been selected from the list.  Please select an item. </h3> </div> ";
            }
      
            // Render parameters in the placeholder.
            document.getElementById("qsparams").innerHTML =
                paramsHTML;
        </script>
      </body>
      </html>
      


To add a Menu Item custom action to the SharePoint Add-in project

  1. Right-click the SharePoint Add-in project, and select Add > New Item > Office/SharePoint > Menu Item Custom Action.

  2. Keep the default name, and then select Add.

  3. The Create Custom Action for Menu Item Wizard asks you a series of questions. Give the answers from the following table:

    Table 2. Menu Item custom action properties

    Property question Answer
    Where do you want to expose the custom action? Select Host Web.
    Where is the custom action scoped to? Select List Template.
    Which particular item is the custom action scoped to? Select Document Library.
    What is the text on the menu item? Enter My Custom Action.
    Where does the custom action navigate to? Select the CustomActionAppWeb\CustomActionTarget.aspx page.
  4. Select Finish.

    Visual Studio generates the following markup in the elements.xml file of the menu item custom action feature:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <Elements 
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
        <!-- RegistrationId attribute is the list type id,
            in this case, a document library (id=101). -->
    <CustomAction 
        Id="65695319-4784-478e-8dcd-4e541cb1d682.CustomAction"
        RegistrationType="List"
        RegistrationId="101"
        Location="EditControlBlock"
        Sequence="10001"
        Title="Invoke custom action">
        <!-- 
        Update the Url below to the page you want the custom action to use.
        Start the URL with the token ~remoteAppUrl if the page is in the
        associated web project, use ~appWebUrl if page is in the add-in project.
        -->
        <UrlAction Url=
    "~remoteAppUrl/CustomActionTarget.aspx?{StandardTokens}&amp;amp;SPListItemId={ItemId}&amp;amp;SPListId={ListId}" />
    </CustomAction>
    </Elements>
    


  5. Add the following query parameters to the end of the Url attribute of the UrlAction element:

    &amp;amp;SPSource={Source}&amp;amp;SPListURLDir={ListUrlDir}&amp;amp;SPItemURL={ItemUrl}

    The UrlAction element should look like the following:

    <UrlAction Url= "~remoteAppUrl/CustomActionTarget.aspx?{StandardTokens}&amp;amp;SPListItemId={ItemId}&amp;amp;SPListId={ListId}&amp;amp;SPSource={Source}&amp;amp;SPListURLDir={ListUrlDir}&amp;amp;SPItemURL={ItemUrl}" />

Note

In this example, the remote webpage opens in a full window when the user selects the custom action from the menu. Custom menu actions can also open a remote webpage in a dialog box by using the HostWebDialog attribute. For more information, see SharePoint-Add-in-Localization.

To add a Ribbon custom action to the SharePoint Add-in project

  1. Right-click the SharePoint Add-in project, and select Add > New Item > Office/SharePoint > Ribbon Custom Action.

  2. Keep the default name, and then select Add.

  3. The Create Custom Action for Ribbon Wizard asks you a series of questions. Give the answers from the following table:

    Table 3. Ribbon custom action properties

    Property question Answer
    Where do you want to expose the custom action? Select Host Web.
    Where is the custom action scoped to? Select List Template.
    Which particular item is the custom action scoped to? Select Document Library.
    Where is the control located? Select Ribbon.Documents.Manage.
    What is the text on the menu item? Enter My Custom Ribbon Button.
    Where does the custom action navigate to? Select the CustomActionAppWeb\CustomActionTarget.aspx page.
  4. Visual Studio generates the following markup in the elements.xml file of the Ribbon custom action feature:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
    <CustomAction Id="85691508-c076-4f43-93d4-96b4d5253a09.RibbonCustomAction1"
                    RegistrationType="List"
                    RegistrationId="101"
                    Location="CommandUI.Ribbon"
                    Sequence="10001"
                    Title="Invoke &amp;apos;RibbonCustomAction1&amp;apos; action">
        <CommandUIExtension>
        <!-- 
        Update the UI definitions below with the controls and the command actions
        that you want to enable for the custom action.
        -->
        <CommandUIDefinitions>
            <CommandUIDefinition Location="Ribbon.Documents.Manage.Controls._children">
            <Button Id="Ribbon.Documents.Manage.RibbonCustomAction1Button"
                    Alt="My Custom Ribbon Button"
                    Sequence="100"
                    Command="Invoke_RibbonCustomAction1ButtonRequest"
                    LabelText="My Custom Ribbon Button"
                    TemplateAlias="o1"
                    Image32by32="_layouts/15/images/placeholder32x32.png"
                    Image16by16="_layouts/15/images/placeholder16x16.png" />
            </CommandUIDefinition>
        </CommandUIDefinitions>
        <CommandUIHandlers>
            <CommandUIHandler Command="Invoke_RibbonCustomAction1ButtonRequest"
                            CommandAction="~remoteAppUrl/CustomActionTarget.aspx?{StandardTokens}&amp;amp;SPListItemId={SelectedItemId}&amp;amp;SPListId={SelectedListId}"/>
        </CommandUIHandlers>
        </CommandUIExtension >
    </CustomAction>
    </Elements> 
    


  5. Add the following query parameters to the end of the CommandAction attribute of the CommandUIHandler element:

    &amp;amp;SPSource={Source}&amp;amp;SPListURLDir={ListUrlDir}

    The CommandUIHandler element should look like the following:

    <CommandUIHandler Command="Invoke_RibbonCustomAction1ButtonRequest" CommandAction="~remoteAppUrl/CustomActionTarget.aspx?{StandardTokens}&amp;amp;SPListItemId={SelectedItemId}&amp;amp;SPListId={SelectedListId}&amp;amp;SPSource={Source}&amp;amp;SPListURLDir={ListUrlDir}" />

    Note

    Ribbon custom actions use SelectedListId and SelectedItemId. ListId and ItemId work only with menu item custom actions.

To set the add-in start page to the host web home page

  1. The continuing sample SharePoint Add-in doesn't have any add-in web, and its remote web application exists only to host the form. So the start page of the add-in should be set to the home page of the host web.

    To begin, select the SharePoint Add-in project (not the web application project) in Solution Explorer, and copy the value of the Site URL property, including the protocol (for example https://contoso.sharepoint.com) into the clipboard.

  2. Open the add-in manifest, and then paste the URL into the Start Page box.

  3. Optionally, you can delete the Default.aspx page from the web application project, because it is not used in the SharePoint Add-in.

To build and run the solution

  1. Select the F5 key.

    Note

    When you select F5, Visual Studio builds the solution, deploys the add-in, and opens the permissions page for the add-in.

  2. Select the Trust It button. The default page of your developer site opens.

  3. Navigate to any document library in the host web.

    Launching a custom menu action

    Document library with callout for a document open, the menu that the callout button on the callout opens, and the Advanced menu open

  4. Select the callout button ( ...) for any document. The callout opens.

  5. Select the callout button ( ...) on the callout.

  6. Select Advanced.

  7. Select My Custom Menu Action in the context menu. You should see something like the following on the remote webpage that opens:

    Remote webpage with parameters from the custom action
    webpage with parameters from a custom action

  8. Select the Back button on your browser to return to the library.

    Launching a custom ribbon action

    A document library with a document selected, the File tab open on the ribbon, and the custom button on the ribbon.

  9. Select any document.

  10. Open the File tab on the ribbon.

  11. Select My Custom Ribbon Button. You see the same remote webpage.


Troubleshooting the solution

Problem Solution
Visual Studio does not open the browser after you select the F5 key. Set the SharePoint Add-in project as the startup project.
The tokens in the URL are not resolved after you select the F5 key in Visual Studio. Go to the Site Contents page in the host web, and select the icon for your add-in.

See also